Due to the success of the iPhone, smartphones have increasingly left behind physical keypads in favor of virtual ones. It looks like HTC is going to be abandoning the physical keypad setup altogether on its Android devices. After all, losing the physical keys allows for sleeker, more futuristic designs. Fitting a keypad onto such designs can make the phone bulky and awkward.
Unfortunately, HTC runs the risk of isolating consumers who favor the physical keypad setup. While the touch screen keyboard is physically more pleasing and is easily adaptable for language, a physical keypad does have its advantages. Sometimes, when you’re getting a little bit long-winded with your texts, texting is a little easier with physical keys than virtual ones. And since in the past few years, gaming on smartphones has drastically improved. A physical keyboard, such as the one equipped on the Sony Xperia, is much easier to use than a virtual d-pad. However, both of these problems have their fixes. Swype has made texting on touchscreens a little less of a grueling experience than it was with a regular keyboard and Bluetooth controller pads, although not so portable, provides somewhat of a fix for a virtual d-pad.
Considering market demand calls for smartphones without keyboards, fans of tangible controls are just going to have to grin and bear it.